Cats are very territorial animals, which generally regard everything in your home and garden, and possibly your neighbour’s gardens too, as belonging to them! This means that it can be a challenge to keep your garden in good condition or grow plants, as your cat may well regard freshly turned earth as a litter tray, or new plants that are small and delicate as good to trample over or lie down on to sleep!
This means that if you wish to landscape your garden, give plants a chance to grow, or keep your cat away from plants that may potentially be toxic or dangerous to them, you will need to look into some of the various methods for blocking off or protecting these things from your cat, and ensuring that your cat steers clear. There are a whole variety of different ways to keep cats away from certain areas of the garden, but not all of these are effective or particularly kind to cats!
In this article, we will look at five methods of keeping your cat away from certain parts of the garden, which are both safe and effective. Read on to learn more!
Certain plants that grow in the UK are not dangerous or harmful to cats, but emit an odour that cats tend to dislike, and so, avoid. Planting some of these plants in and around your flower beds can help to keep your cat away from that general area, so look into adding some plants like lavender to your flower beds, which has a lovely smell to people, but that cats do not like at all!
While cats often love lying down on warm, dry earth or doing their business in freshly turned earth, they are apt to actively avoid earth that is very wet or muddy, as they are not fans of getting dirty or wet! This means that installing garden sprinklers on a timer that keeps the earth wet can help to make the area unappealing to your cat, and also, make your cat avoid an area where they know that they might end up having a surprise shower if they are not careful!
Motion-activated sprinklers can also help with this, and after your cat has got the hang of avoiding a certain area if they want to stay dry, you will probably be able to stop using the sprinklers entirely as your cat will give them a wide berth!
You can protect the borders of bedding plants, or the plants themselves, using things like chicken wire, mesh or netting. Chicken wire must be used with care, however, as the sharp edges of the cut wire may potentially scratch or cut your cat, so take care to turn down any sharp wires once you have cut the chicken wire to size.
You can either use the wire to make a temporary boundary around a whole area of bedding plants, or make it into arch-shapes to place over growing plants to stop your cat walking on them, until they have grown larger and will be able to stand up to being walked through by your cat!
Cloche netting or tunnels can also be used in place of wire, although this is usually softer and more flexible and so potentially, less effective!
You can outsmart your cat when it comes to keeping them away from certain areas of your garden, by using diversions and distractions! Dedicating one are of your garden to your cat can help with this, such as by putting in a small gravelled patch that your cat may do their business in, or planting catnip that your cat will make a beeline for, ignoring everything else!
If your cat is apt to toilet in the flower beds, providing and maintaining a litter tray or another garden area of turned earth for them to use can help.
However, if you have potentially toxic plants or other dangers in your garden, you should not rely upon the power of distractions alone, and should use such diversions in tandem with other methods of keeping your cat away from potential dangers.
Much like planting lavender to put your cat off going into a certain area, there are also various cat repellent products on the market that can be used to mark off a certain region of the garden and keep your cat away. However, not all of these products are necessarily a good idea!
Don’t use anything that will upset your cat or cause them distress if they do come into contact with it, such as chilli powder, but instead, use products that will simply not really appeal to your cat, and encourage them to stay away.
Sprays such as citronella or bitter apple can be helpful for this, but they will need replenishing regularly as the rain and time will wash them away.
There are also certain electrical products that emit a high-pitched sound that only cats and dogs can hear to keep them away, but these products may cause distress to your cat, and potentially lead to them avoiding the garden entirely, and so are generally best avoided.